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Hamilton Island Frequently Asked Questions


Where is Hamilton Island?

Hamilton Island is part of Australia and is perfectly located just off the Queensland coast in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Of the 74 Whitsunday Islands, it is the largest inhabited island, measuring 4.5km from north to south and 3km from east to west, and is positioned approximately 887km north of Brisbane and 512km south of Cairns (by air). The only island in the Great Barrier Reef with its own commercial airport, access to Hamilton Island (airport code: HTI) is easy with short, direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Cairns and good connections from other Australian cities. There are also quick one-hour direct boat transfers from Port of Airlie on the mainland.

Is Hamilton Island expensive?

Hamilton Island offers a wide choice of hotel and self-catering accommodation options starting from $440* per room night and ranging from modest to luxury, including the internationally acclaimed qualia resort. We also offer several special packages, which include accommodation and various island activities. To view our range of accommodation options on the island please view here.
*Terms and conditions apply, please see website for details.

Can I use cash on Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island is a cashless environment, and we are unable to accept cash at any of our outlets. Cash deposits and withdrawals can be made using the Bank@Post service at the Australia Post office on Front Street, where cash can also be exchanged for pre-paid or top-up Mastercards. A 1.25% surcharge applies for all ‘credit’ and ‘tap and go’ transactions made on the island via credit or debit card. Fee free card payments can be made via EFTPOS by inserting your card and selecting a cheque and/or savings account at the terminal.

What is there to do on Hamilton Island?

There are over 65 tours and activities available on and from Hamilton Island. The top-rated experience for Hamilton Island guests is a visit the Great Barrier Reef by helicopter, seaplane or high-speed catamaran. No matter how you choose to experience it, you will leave with lifelong memories of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonder. For water-based activities, enjoy kayaking, windsurfing, parasailing, jet skiing and stand up paddle boarding off Catseye Beach or get the adrenaline going with off-road adventure ATVs, quad bikes, go karts and more. Some of the more romantic options include a sunset sail through the Whitsunday Islands, a seaplane picnic escape to Whitehaven Beach or a dawn nature walk up to Passage Peak, with 360 degree views of a spectacular Whitsunday sunrise.
Land Activities: Hamilton Island Golf Club – 18-hole championship course,  Bushwalking – over 20km of trails, Hamilton Island Wildlife Park, Sunset cocktails at One Tree Hill, Go-karts, Golf driving range, Mini golf, Games arcade , Spa wumurdaylin day spa, Sports club and gym, Tennis, Off Road Adventure Tours, Island Bowling - Kegel 9-pin bowling, Retail outlets, Clownfish Club kids club , Kids Fun Zone - jumping castle, face painting, arts and crafts - every Sunday and more frequently throughout Australian school holidays and Laser tag
Air Helicopter: fixed wing and helicopter flights available over the Whitsundays, Whitehaven Beach, the Great Barrier Reef and Heart Reef
Water: Full day trips to the Great Barrier Reef, Full and half day trips to Whitehaven Beach, Sailing – bareboat and chartered, Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier, Reef Dive and Snorkel tours, Twilight and dinner cruises, High-speed jet boat rides, Sea kayaking, Game fishing, Dinghy hire, Jetski tours, Whale watching (Jul–Sept), Various island pools, Scuba diving, Wakeboarding and water-skiing, Catamarans, Windsurfing, Kayaks, Snorkelling, Stand up paddleboards, PADI open water learn to dive, Turtle discovery tour.
You can also see our daily activity guide for full details on what’s happening, including times and locations, here.

When is the best time to visit Hamilton Island?

Situated on the same latitude as Honolulu in the northern hemisphere and Mauritius in the south, Hamilton Island enjoys a year-round tropical climate with an average temperature of 27°C.
This makes it a great time to visit Hamilton Island at any time of the year. However, there are some unique features of each season that are worth keeping in mind if you’re planning a trip. Find out more here.

How many days do you need to visit Hamilton Island?

We would recommend staying a minimum of 4 days in order to explore  everything Hamilton Island and the surrounding Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef have to offer.
There's plenty to do during your Great Barrier Reef holiday on Hamilton Island. You can enjoy a wide selection of bars and restaurants, year-round events, an abundance of water sports and activities - and that's just the start. For sailing enthusiasts, there’s the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, and for keen golfers, the Hamilton Island Golf Club is the only Australian 18-hole championship course on its own island.

What dining options are available on the island?

Most of the dining options on Hamilton Island are located around the bustling marina, from simple fare at Popeye’s Fish & Chips to premium dining at Mariners Seafood Restaurant and Bommie, the signature fine dining restaurant in the Hamilton Island Yacht Club. For lunch, guests often enjoy dining at the Clubhouse at the Hamilton Island Golf Club on neighbouring Dent Island, complete with stunning views over the surrounding Whitsunday Islands. For qualia guests, the Long Pavilion offers a bistro style menu while Pebble Beach restaurant offers a fine dining tasting menu in a romantic beachside setting. There’s also a range of takeaway outlets and bars if you are looking for something a little more casual, or the well-stocked island IGA Supermarket for those preferring to self-cater.

  • Bommie – fine food and wine at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club
  • coca chu – modern South East Asian, mixing bold flavours with elegant style
  • The Clubhouse – light meals and lunch at the Hamilton Island Golf Club
  • Explore Barbeque Dinner Cruise – sunset dinner cruise through the Whitsunday waters
  • Manta Ray – casual Mediterranean-style lunch and dinner on the waterfront
  • Marina Café – healthy snacks and great coffee by the marina
  • Marina Tavern – casual pub-style dining
  • Mariners – fun and family friendly with a relaxed modern Australian menu
  • One Tree Hill – light snacks and refreshments overlooking Passage Peak and beyond
  • Pizzeria and Gelato Bar – gourmet pizzas and gelato in a laid-back, family-friendly setting
  • Pool Terrace – breakfast, lunch and dinner overlooking the Reef View Hotel pool
  • Romano’s – innovative Italian fare by the marina
  • Sails – casual dining overlooking the Dolphin Pool and Catseye Beach
  • TAKO – authentic Mexican overlooking the marina
  • Hamilton Island Wildlife Café – breakfast with the koalas and light snacks within the island’s wildlife sanctuary

There are also a range of takeaway outlets and bars on the island such as: Beach Pavilion Kiosk, Bob’s Bakery, Bommie Deck, Bougainvillea Bar, Garden Bar, Ice CreamParlour, Island Bar, Manta Ray, Marina Café, Marina Tavern, One Tree Hill, Popeye’s Fish & Chips, Reef Lounge and Sails Bar.

Does Hamilton Island have a supermarket?

Hamilton Island has an IGA Supermarket that is located at the southern end of Front Street in the Marina Village. The store offers a range of products including fresh fruit and vegetables, meats and deli produce, kitchen supplies and pantry items. Keep an eye out for the weekly specials catalogue which can be found in store.
The Hamilton Island IGA Supermarket is a plastic bag free store, so we encourage guests to bring their own carry bag. However cloth bags can be purchased for 0.99 cents.
View the Hamilton Island IGA opening hours.
The Hamilton Island Bottle Shop is located alongside the IGA Supermarket. Choose from a range of local and imported beers, fine wines and spirits, plus non-alcoholic beverages.
View the Hamilton Island Bottle Shop opening hours.

Can you swim on Hamilton Island?

Yes, you most certainly can swim when you visit Hamilton Island!
We have a mix of swimming pools where you can enjoy being in the water on Hamilton Island, plus our main resort beach, Catseye Beach.

Pools on Hamilton Island
The Reef View Hotel, Beach Club, qualia and some Holiday Home precincts have their own private pools for guest use, plus there is also a range of resort swimming pools available to all guests on Hamilton Island, located on the resort-side of the island:

  • Dolphin Pool
    Close to Sails restaurant and offers a spectacular view over Casteye Beach.
  • Main Pool
    This is our largest swimming pool. With its freeform shape, it has plenty of space for everyone and the lush tropical gardens make it the perfect place to relax poolside. A popular feature is the pool’s swim-up bar, where you can order your favourite drink without having to leave the pool.
  • Bougainvillea Pool
    Undoubtedly our most popular pool for those travelling with kids, the Bougainvillea Pool has a shallow section to make swimming easier for little ones, shady trees and a great view out to Catseye Beach. A wonderful spot to spend time as a family.
  • Catseye Beach
    This is the main guest beach on Hamilton Island and a close walk from most resort accommodation. The beach is long and curved with many sun lounges and is a perfect spot for relaxing. The tidal nature of the beach makes it a great spot to explore the sand flats at low tide, too.

Island Pools and Beach Safety Information
The surrounding waters of Hamilton Island are part of the Whitsundays marine ecology and as such the same care needs to be given as any other beach location. During the summer months when the ocean is warm, the waters of the Whitsundays experience an increased presence of the small transparent jellyfish – Irukandji. With this in mind, if you do wish to swim in the ocean we would recommend you wear a stinger suit, available for hire from Beach Sports on Catseye Beach. Sharks exist in the Whitsunday Marine ecosystem, as they do in all Australian marine ecosystems. We recommend that you don’t swim at the beaches during dawn, dusk or night or in murky or unclear water.
Pools and beaches on Hamilton Island are not patrolled and guests are solely responsible for their own safety and that of their friends and family. For your safety, we recommend you always swim in the presence of others and avoid swimming at secluded beaches.
To find out more about swimming on the island, please click here

How long does it take to walk around the island?

Most things on Hamilton Island are within easy walking distance. It is a leisurely 10 minute stroll from Catseye Beach/resort side to the marina. If you are looking to venture a little further, more than 70% of the island remains as natural bushland, and there are a range of bush and walking trails to be explored at your own pace. Discover secluded, sandy coves and natural wildlife, and you can also find our four iconic landmarks on the island’s Icons Trail, including a 3m tall chair, a giant swing, a hammock and a breathtaking panoramic viewing platform. To find out more about specific trails click here.

What is Hamilton Island known for?

Situated in the middle of Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands and in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island is a private, 100% Australian-owned island resort, and one of Australia’s most spectacular and sought-after holiday destinations. Often referred to as the aquatic playground of the Whitsundays, on a holiday to Hamilton Island you'll be surrounded by pristine beaches and a kaleidoscope of coral and marine life. Hamilton Island is a perfect base for exploring the Great Barrier Reef and world-famous Whitehaven Beach.
There's plenty to do during your Great Barrier Reef holiday on Hamilton Island. You can enjoy a wide selection of bars and restaurants, year-round events, an abundance of water sports and activities - and that's just the start. For sailing enthusiasts, there’s the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, and for keen golfers, the Hamilton Island Golf Club is the only Australian 18-hole championship course on its own island.  Plus, with a choice of accommodation across the island for families, couples or groups of friends – including hotel and self-catering options from modest to luxury, a holiday on Hamilton Island really does offer something for everyone.

Can you stay on Hamilton Island?

Whether you’re planning to holiday as a couple, or a group of friends or family, Hamilton Island has six different types of accommodation to choose from.
Enjoy the ultimate in Australian luxury at qualia, or an intimate beachside escape at the boutique Beach Club. Relax in large rooms and enjoy magnificent views in the four-star Reef View Hotel or enjoy the convenience of our island style Palm Bungalows. You can also select from our wide range of privately-owned, self-catering holiday homes, or waterfront self-catering Yacht Club Villas.    
If you’re looking for a hotel near the Great Barrier Reef, you’ll find all of Hamilton Island’s accommodation options ideally situated, and a perfect base from which to explore this wonder of the world.

Main mode of transport on Hamilton Island?

Being car-free gives Hamilton Island a very unique, relaxed and tranquil ambience. And despite the lack of cars, it's also still incredibly easy and fast to get around.
There are several ways to get around:

  • Free Island Shuttle service:
    A complimentary bus service operates every day, from 7.00am until 11.00pm (subject to change). Simply hop on or off at the various shuttle stops across the island and use the service as much or as little as you like.
  • On foot:
    One of the best ways to explore the island is by walking. With most activities, restaurants and bars conveniently located on the resort side of the island, it’s also easy to wander from your accommodation to some of the island’s key highlights. It is a leisurely 10 minute stroll from Catseye Beach/resort side over the hill to the marina.
  • Buggy:
    Golf buggies are the main form of transportation on the island. 4-seater buggies are available for hire on an hourly, half-day, daily or overnight basis, or are provided complimentary for Holiday Home, Yacht Club Villa and qualia guests. Passengers four years and under are required to be restrained in an approved child seat or capsule, which can be provided for an additional fee and subject to availability. Drivers must be 21 years or over and a full drivers licence is required.
    For more information, visit:

How do I get to Hamilton Island?

Whether you plan on arriving by plane, helicopter, boat, ferry or private yacht, there are several hassle-free ways to get to and from Hamilton Island. For more details around these options click here.

Is there a medical centre on Hamilton Island?

The Medical Clinic on Hamilton Island is run by Atticus Health.
Appointments can be made by calling 07 4804 5688, via the Hamilton Island App, or online at
Atticus Health also offers a GP Telehealth service. Book and pay online at or by calling 1300 268 431.

To view the Medical and Health Centre opening hours and further information, please click here.

What is the population of Hamilton Island?

Hamilton Island is the largest inhabited island of the Whitsunday Islands. The island has a permanent population of around 1,300 people.  This includes staff, business owners, contractors, and numerous private residents who own holiday homes or have retired on the island.